Lake Sebu Adventure: T’boli Dance

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T’boli dancers graced us after dinner.  The costumes as they swirl, the colors they emit—and the ring of bells in their belts and anklets is what I love the most.  Punta Isla Lake Resort does not only boast of good food (their tilapia chicharon is a must try!) but also of great dancing with the young T’boli artists.  Instruments vary from drums to kuluntang to flute.  A solemn prayer is being offered as a sign of permission and thanks to the spirits of instruments are being done everytime they use their preferred musical item.  In every dance, a cultural insight of the T’boli tribe are shared.  Continue reading

nooks and crannies of Angkor Wat Temple

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Mandatory sunrise photo of the Angkor Wat Temple.

A perfect example of Khmer architecture—thus when in Siem Reap, one must always drop by Angkor Wat Temple.   Aside from being the King’s mausoleum, this temple was also constructed for the Hindu God, Vishnu .  I was here in 2010 and was in awe –and even now, years later, Angkor Wat Temple still amazes me.   Continue reading

The Mangyan Photographs of Jose Raymond Panaligan

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Admiring “Bogsie’s” work at Cambodia during the Angkor Wat Photo Festival —  these are images of the Mangyan tribe that he took from the 90’s till present.  His use of film and his transition to digital medium shows his versatility as a photographer.   Continue reading

T’nalak Festival in South Cotabato

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So… my feet brought me to Koronadal City to celebrate the T’nalak Festival.  Actually, I was late.  We were supposed to meet at exactly 6pm.  I arrived thirty minutes later.  Good thing Chi decided to wait for me while the rest went ahead as scheduled.  Otherwise I would have taken the wrong bus and god-knows-what will happen (not the first time though).  Chi and I arrived around eleven in the evening at Koronadal City.  And the city was alive and busy!  Needless to say, it was a three-day-basking full of laughter and dancing with the T’boli and B’laan community.

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Panlabuhan Floating Village, Agusan Marshland Sanctuary

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Agusan Wildlife Sanctuary courses through five municipalities  Rosario, San Francisco, Talacogon, Bunawan, La Paz, and Loreto.  Bunawan being the most famous one as it was where Lolong was captured. To those who have no idea who Lolong was, Lolong was the world’s longest crocodile in captivity. He was a 20ft 3in Indo-Pacific saltwater croc and he weighed around 1,075 kg. He was found dead in his cage last February 10, 2013.  

We asked the Panlabuhan locals about what they think of Lolong. “Gamay man siya”.  He’s small,  they said.  Nakadakop mig mas dako pa niya, kaduhaon.  Abi namo namatay kay nasab-it sa pukot.  Buhi diay.  “We caught one that is twice his size. He got himself entangled in one of the nets.  We initially thought that he was dead only to find out he was not” our boat men explained.  When asked where  the crocodile is now.  Gibuy-an nano. “We let him go” they shrugged.    As it should be, our group silently agreed.

Yes, in case you are wondering, the marshland is home to many crocodiles. Continue reading

Magellan’s Drive

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I was cradling a beer and it was early…Was it 9 am (?) I am not sure.  I’m not sure of anything anyway every time I’m in Manila.  The smog and the traffic always confuses me.  And the metro is either too bright or too dark, too wet or too dry.  And the city seems bored but busy.  No.  In a hurry.  The city seems is bored and busy always in a hurry.  As if it has somewhere to go, something to do– All. The. Time.  And it was such, in the morning that Mitchie and I clawed our way to Intramuros.  One of her friends will be touring us.  Okay, I confess, one of her friends will be touring her and some others.  I was just tagging along.  Continue reading

Visiting Cotabato

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Currently in Cotabato City right now for a documentary assignment.  My day starts early and it ends just right after sunset.  Visiting the nooks and crannies of the city has yielded a lot of unexpected surprises.  The Moro people are friendly and the women are beautiful. The children would remember me and would call and wave even a day after meeting them in the streets.   Continue reading